GroupM's Gerber: ACR Providers Are Being Glassholes, Need To Pool Their Data

As part of an ongoing campaign to reboot the way the ad industry thinks about measuring audiences in a multi-screen environment increasingly dominated by often incompatible devices and streaming services, GroupM Executive Director-U.S. Investment Strategy Adam Gerber Thursday called on the industry to pressure the major TV set manufacturers to begin pooling the ACR (automatic content recognition) data they market to measure viewers.

During a keynote interview opening the Television Bureau of Advertising's (TVB) annual "Forward" conference Thursday morning, Gerber asserted that the future of TV and streaming measurement must be done "at the glass level" -- meaning the TV set, because there is no other practical way to unify the disparate technologies -- MVPDs, connected TV and other devices and streaming services' server data -- to create a "holistic" view of actual viewing behavior.



"I think that's the biggest challenge for the industry going forward," Gerber told TVB President-CEO Steve Lanzano during the interview, adding that the only way to get that "glass-level" view is from the major providers of ACR data, but they are currently providing it only disparately.

“The problem you have with measurement at the glass-level is that none of them are working together," he explained, adding, "My action call to the industry would be to get Samsung, get Vizio, get LG, get Sony, and get all the others to understand that their ACR data is not a competitive strategic asset for them. It’s only valuable if they pool it in a national footprint of data for advertisers and sellers to use and understand."

1 comment about "GroupM's Gerber: ACR Providers Are Being Glassholes, Need To Pool Their Data".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 25, 2022 at 9:32 a.m.

    Adam is  right, but the fact remains that a fairly large amount of TV set usage continuous to be via old fashioned "dumb" sets, not ACR sets. While this will  diminish as the years pass how do you account for this activity if you only measure ACR set usage. And second, it's not just a matter of pooling resources among the various panels. You must pass the MRC test of showing that your panel is representative of all ACR homes and that it is being statistically tallied,  recruited and maintained in a manner that is acceptible. If you pool the findings from various ACR panels---without determining which of them, if any, can pass an MRC test all you get is a large sample--but that does not mean that the resulting data is accurate. Finally, what about focusing on who is "watching" not merely whether the set is featuring a given piece of program content when a commercial break appears? And how do you establish that a person who you think was part of the "program's audience"  was present and actually saw---or paid attention to---- each commercial? You need attentiveness measures to get such vitally important information. "Impressions" just don't cut it.

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